National Day of Collaboration

Welcome to our National Day of Collaboration for Brain Injury Services & Supports!

June 5, 2019 is the inaugural day of bringing Canada together to discuss the urgent and critical need for integrated brain injury services & supports across this country.

Let’s be clear… we have a brain injury crisis in this country! There are approximately 1.5 million Canadians living with the diagnosis of a brain injury. There is no doubt there are many more who live with the devastating outcome of a brain injury, but they have NOT been diagnosed. This is an emerging concern from recent research on women sustaining a brain injury as a result of intimate partner violence (IPV). Furthermore, on a conservative side, at least 2 people are attached to every person who has a brain injury to account for caregivers, support persons, family and friends and therefore, on the low side, we have 4.5 million Canadians struggling to move forward in life with little or no brain injury services.

Brain injury can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime*

There is no one person, funder, or politician responsible for brain injury services. It’s not a municipal problem. It’s not a provincial problem. It’s not a federal problem. It’s not a problem of the Conservative party. It’s not a problem of the NDP party. It’s not a problem of the Liberal party and it’s not a problem exclusive to an Independent. Why? Because brain injury is EVERYONE’S PROBLEM. We all need to be concerned about the impact that brain injury is having in our cities, our provinces, and our territories. It’s time to bring together all levels of government, stakeholders, service providers, families and brain injury survivors and figure out how to provide integrated services Canada-wide so individuals can get the help they need, when they need it, in a way they need it, and for however long they need it.

Some may ask, “We have services for brain injury rehabilitation, mental health, and addictions… so what’s the problem?” The problem is that a person living with a brain injury is at risk of increased mental health and/or addiction issues; however, they are often denied access to services because they are considered too complex. They, and/or the agencies who serve them are told “they are better served elsewhere”. The problem, quite frankly, is that there is no address for “elsewhere.” Moreover, a person with a brain injury needs rehabilitative services, where they live. In many places across this country such services are non-existent. In other areas, like in Victoria, BC, services are limited and generally short-term. This does not work.

*Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association

Here’s who is participating so far:

The Cridge Centre for the Family
BC Brain Injury Association
Brain Injury Canada
Brain Trust Canada
Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association
Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association
Ontario Brain Injury Association
Kootenay Brain Injury Association
Michelle Ares
Barb Butler
Michelle Bartlett
Bill Roberts
Nanaimo Brain Injury Society

We are spending millions and millions of dollars dealing with the aftermath of brain injuries (but not addressing the brain injury) in other ways.

Here is how:

  • Opioids:
    The opioid crisis is across this country. In 2017, there were 3,987 overdose deaths in Canada – that’s 11 deaths per day. On average, approximately 16 Canadians were hospitalized due to an overdose. In 2017, opioid-related deaths were forecasted to be the leading cause of death for those aged 30-39 years.
  • Incarceration:
    It costs on average, $115,000 per year to incarcerate a male (higher security prisons cost more as do women prisons); that’s $315 per day.
  • Homelessness: The average cost per year for an individual living on the streets is $53,144
  • Mental Health & Addictions:
    The federal government has committed to providing $11 billion
  • over the next 10 years to improved shared health priorities for home and care community support, and mental health and addiction services.

The link to brain injury matters because:

  • Opioids:
    There are a growing number of individuals living with a hypoxic brain injury as a result of surviving an overdose.
  • Incarceration:
    80% of those incarcerated have suffered a brain injury and approximately 60% of them sustained their first brain injury as a child and often at the hand of abuse. (John Simpson)
  • Homelessness:
    52% of the homeless have suffered a brain injury and over 70% of that group became homeless after their first brain injury.
  • Mental Health & Addictions:
    The risk of suicide increases by 400% for a survivor of brain injury and survivors face a 200% increased risk of struggling with addictions after sustaining a brain injury.
  • A person has a 3X greater risk of suffering a second brain injury after sustaining one.
  • For every 1 NHL player who sustained a concussion, 7,000  women suffered the same injury through Intimate Partner Violence (Karen Mason, Dr. Paul van Donkelaar)
The British Columbia Neurotrauma Fund Contribution Act (1997)
In 1997, once again, our founder Janelle Breese Biagioni, was invited and on hand to attend a press conference held at G.F. Strong in Vancouver to announce Bill 8 – The British Columbia Neurotrauma Fund Contribution Act. This fund was to be administered by the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Foundation. Funding from the government would be capped at $2 million per year and would come from a 15% provincial surcharge on traffic violations and paid into the Victims of Crime Account and transferred to the neurotrauma fund. The purpose was to fund “services and projects respecting neurotraumatic injury and victims of neurotraumatic injury.” It was announced the neurotrauma fund was to be dedicated to spinal cord and brain injury by way of “prevention, rehabilitation, and research”.

In the initial years, the Rick Hansen Foundation allotted a total of only $350,000 (three hundred fifty thousand) to be paid annually to community-based brain injury programs through grants. Janelle sat on the committee to adjudicate grant applications for three years. The funds were never increased from $350,000 and in fact, were eventually terminated.

In 2014, the Northern Brain Injury Association (NBIA) put forward a report/proposal titled, The State of Brain Injury in British Columbia. The proposal states that brain injury services and projects received less than $1.5 million from the administrator of the BC Neurotrauma Contribution Fund Act; yet the administrator of the Act received more than $34 million. No funds have been distributed to the brain injury community since 2010.

Part of the frustration is this: when the government announced this fund in 1997, approximately 36,000 brain injuries occurred annually in Canada compared to 1,100 spinal cord injuries. The number of brain injuries still outweighs the number of spinal cord injuries by a landslide. We are not saying that spinal cord injury deserves less than the attention and funding it gets. But we are saying that brain injury deserves as much, if not more. In the NBIA report, it notes that although “brain injury occurs at a rate of 44 to 1 when compared to spinal cord injury (SCI), spinal cord injury is funded at a rate of over 60 to 1 when compared to brain injury.” This is simply wrong.

What are we asking the government for?
We are asking the Federal government to dedicate a fund, separate from the general healthcare dollars going to the provinces, which will support integrated services for those living with a brain injury across this country. We are already spending the money on acute care, emergency services, policing and the prisons. If we address all the issues together (brain injury, mental health, substance use/addiction, homelessness, incarceration) we can reduce the burden to taxpayers. We pay now for appropriate supports, or we pay later — and paying later is a much bigger cost to our society.
Guidelines for Planning Brain Injury Services and Supports in British Columbia (2002)
In 2002, the BC Government developed Guidelines for Planning Brain Injury Services and Supports in British Columbia. Our founder, Janelle Breese Biagioni, and board member, Shirley Johnson were invited to participate on the committee as representatives for the BC Brain Injury Association and community. The committee declared to the government that the process of developing the guidelines was futile… we needed action, not yet another report. The guidelines were developed following the devolvement of the Provincial Brain Injury Program, which at the time was approximately $10 million per year, into the six health authorities.

The problem here is the health authorities have autonomy, so brain injury sits in different areas. For example, the north may be under Mental Health & Addictions and the island sits under Home Care Services. It is important to note that in the areas where Brain Injury Services fall under Mental Health & Addictions, it does not mean they have access to mental health and addiction programs. Although in different pockets, brain injury has never been a priority in the province. Again, this is mirrored throughout the provinces and territories.

What isn’t working?
There is a problem in Canada. Not every city or province has adequate brain injury services. We hear this all the time, and this is what has prompted the National Day of Collaboration to take place! The concerns below highlight the experiences we have in British Columbia. The lack of provision for service and supports that one can derive from this is mirrored across Canada; it is not exclusive to British Columbia.
Cited References
Below are the publications that we have pulled information from:

https://portage.ca/en/blog/overdose-crisis-in-canada/

http://johnhoward.ca/blog/financial-facts-canadian-prisons/

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/opinion-jino-distasio-homelessness-housing-first-1.4341552

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/corporate/transparency/health-agreements/principles-shared-health-priorities.html

https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/doctors-paramedics-report-brain-damage-in-fentanyl-overdose-survivors-1.5909198

Hwang, S. W., Colantonio, A., Chiu, S., Tolomiczenko, G., Kiss, A., Cowan, L., et al. (2008). The effect of traumatic brain injury on the health of homeless people. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal = Journal De l’Association Medicale Canadienne, 179(8), 779-784.

https://www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2002/MHA_Brain_Injury_Guidelines.pdf

http://nbia.ca/pdfs/nbiaproposal.pdf

For more information, contact Janelle Breese Biagioni, Founder & Director at 250-812-2962 or 1-855-427-3373 or email her at janelle@traumaticlifelosses.com

Canada-wide, the incidence and prevalence of brain injury surpasses that of HIV/Aids, Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Breast Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis combined.

Brain injury remains the orphan in our healthcare system. No one wants it yet everyone assumes someone else is taking care of it.

It’s time to change!

INFORMATION FOR PARTICIPANTS:

BRAIN INJURY REMAINS THE ORPHAN IN HEALTHCARE
  • Brain injury currently falls under healthcare – the provinces only need to meet a certain criteria for healthcare dollars to be transferred to the province
  • The provinces have autonomy on spending the healthcare dollars
  • Brain injury is not only a healthcare issue – it crosses ministries
  • Brain injury has not received any ‘stand alone’ attention – it gets tucked in with other health issues (i.e. spinal cord, neurological) and historically remains in the shadows.
THE MESSAGE
It’s time for the Brain Injury Communities across Canada to come together and be a unified voice.

 

What does the National day of Collaboration stand for?

We stand for improved quality of life for Brain Injury Survivors.

 

What do we want to achieve with the National Day of Collaboration?

We want government, influencers, funders, key stakeholders, and service providers to come together with the brain injury communities to develop a plan and to provide funding across Canada for integrated Brain Injury Services and Supports so individuals receive help in the way they need it, where they need it, and for however long they need it.

QUICK FACTS
In preparing your flat sheets, letters, or information bulletins, feel free to use information on our site. Here are some important ones to consider:

  • Brain injury survivors face an increased risk of mental health issues by 400%
  • Survivors have a 200% increased risk of addiction
  • 80% of prisoners have suffered a brain injury
  • 52% of the homeless have a brain injury and over 70% of that group became homeless after their first brain injury
  • A persons has a 3 X greater risk of suffering a second brain injury after their first
  • 5 million Canadians live with a diagnosed brain injury – hundreds of thousands have not been diagnosed

Include these links in your communications: 

Our website

www.traumaticlifelosses.com

Our graphic on the current system vs. early intervention

http://traumaticlifelosses.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Mental-Health-Addiction-Brain-injury-graphic-2.pdf

Our video on Mental Health, Addiction & Brain Injury

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSqGSzFMR3Q&t=28s

POLICTIANS – 4 STEPS TO CONNECT
We are not here to be an adversary to government. In fact, we are here to educate and help our government officials build thriving towns, cities, provinces and country. It’s up to us to drive it home how the billions of dollars being spent on mental health & addictions (especially the opioid crisis), homelessness, incarceration is directly linked to brain injury. We can do better in spending the money by preventing people from going down these ‘dark rabbit holes’ in the first place by providing community-based supports as early as possible and for as long as the individual needs them.

Start building a relationship with your politicians:

  1. Write to your Mayor and Council, MLA and MP giving them facts on brain injury and how it relates to the work they are doing and request a meeting.
  2. Post informative and educational information about brain injury on your social media sites and tag your local, provincial and federal politicians.
  3. Follow up with phone calls or emails to their staff and request a face-to-face meeting
  4. Always get a meeting – it’s easy for letters and emails to linger in the “wings” – it’s much harder to ignore a person across the table

An important note, these public servants are working hard, and they take a lot of flack. Be kind, be polite, but yes, be direct. Build a relationship – educate and ask for support.

WHEN YOU GET PUSH BACK – HERE IS WHAT TO SAY
In government, expect to get push-back. For example, on a municipal level, you will be told that it’s a provincial and federal issue. On a provincial level, you will be told it’s a federal responsibility. On a federal level, you will be told it’s under healthcare dollars and the provinces have autonomy once they meet the criteria to receive those dollars so it’s their issue.

Here is the deal

All levels of government and all parties have a responsibility in dealing with the social determinates in our communities. For example, although municipalities are not responsible to deliver services for brain injury, mental health or addictions, they are the planners and responsible for safe and affordable housing, safe transportation, recreation facilities, policing and emergency services and more. Individuals with a brain injury live in their municipality and need housing, transportation, recreation and leisure facilities. Furthermore, they are living on their streets, in their prisons, and coming face-to-face with police and emergency services daily. Your Mayor and Council have as much responsibility to be a part of this conversation as do your MLAs and MPs.

*See our sample letters and useful links to find out where to write to government officials.

AWARENESS MONTH - HOST AN EVENT
National Day of Collaboration is June 5, 2019 to coincide with Brain Injury Awareness Month.

We are looking for individuals and/or organizations across the country to get involved and host something in their town or city or province on that day.

This is the first year, so pretty much anything goes. Groups and organizations can tie this into events they have already planned for Brain Injury Awareness Month.

If you haven’t planned anything yet, consider:

  • Writing to your local, provincial, and federal politicians and ask for a meeting to discuss the need for integrated supports and services. Make your information specific to your town, city or province. Check our sample letters for ideas.

Host a round table discussion event with local politicians, stakeholders, service providers, family members and brain injury survivors to discuss the current services available and the gaps that are contributing to people falling between the cracks. Recap your discussions, take photos and send them to us so we can compile a master document on what is needed across the country

PUBLIC EDUCATION
Taking time to get the word out to the general public on what is happening in brain injury, including identifying the gaps in services and supports, is just as important as talking to the politicians. You never know who is connected to who and can put you in touch with an influencer. Get the conversation going and see what happens!

  • Put up a display in your local mall and educate people on the intersection of brain injury, mental health, and addiction
  • Secure a spot on your local radio to talk about Brain Injury Awareness Month and National Day of Collaboration
  • Develop a social media campaign – post informative and educational information and pictures to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Download our Twitter Campaign and join the country in tweeting on June 5th at 11 am PST/ 2 pm EST
  • Ask for survivors and family members to come forward and share their stories – help them to write about their journey. And with their permission, submit their stories to newsletters and/or post to social media sites to increase awareness
  • Write a letter to the editor and submit newspapers – from local papers to those with national reach are welcomed!
DONATE
Our organization is dedicated to improving the quality of lives for brain injury survivors and their families.

We have no dedicated source of funding to develop materials or swag which could be distributed to organizations wanting to participate in this campaign.

We also require funding to assist in our travel and meeting with the federal government.

Our team is working tirelessly as volunteers to ensure that change happens.

Any amount you can donate to assist in our efforts is greatly appreciated.

To make a one-time or a monthly donation to this campaign please click on the link below:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/39820

LET US KNOW HOW YOU PARTICIPATED!

We know this will not be a quick fix, therefore, we are looking to grow this movement across the country for the next few years. Although elections will loom and potentially disrupt our target players, we believe that there is no time like the present to get going.

So please send us photos and write-ups of what you and/or your organization did to participate in the National Day of Collaboration for Brain Injury Services & Supports. We hope to have as much content, or even more next year. We fervently believe if we put our heads together, we can bring about the long-awaited change!

SAMPLE LETTERS

Here are some letters we’ve written. Feel free to copy and use them, just replace the date, your contact info, and your name & title. And in the middle section customize it to your town, city, or province.

Municipal
[DATE]

Dear [YOUR MAYOR or COUNCIL MEMBER]:

RE: National Day of Collaboration for Brain Injury Services & Supports

We invite you to participate in our National Day of Collaboration for Brain Injury Services & Supports on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 [INSERT YOUR EVENT OR WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO]. The National Day of Collaboration will take place coast-to-coast across Canada to advocate for improving the quality of life for brain injury survivors by providing integrated services (brain injury rehabilitation, mental health and addiction) which an individual can access when needed, in the way needed, where they are needed, and for however long they are needed.

Although municipalities are not directly responsible for health services, there is a role for municipalities to play in the conversation around social determinants. As planners for safe and affordable housing, transportation, recreation facilities, and overseeing police forces, it is important our mayor and council understand the issues of the individuals and families living in our community. In Victoria, we have a homelessness problem, an opioid crisis, and two prisons. It’s important our leaders are part of the conversation. Why?

  • The March 15, 2018 Greater Victoria Point in Time Count revealed that 1,525 experiencing homelessness. According to the Toronto study, 53% of the homeless have a traumatic brain injury (Hwang, 2008); therefore, in Victoria, 808 of those who are homeless have a brain injury. The study also found that 70% of the 53% became homeless AFTER suffering their FIRST brain injury which means that approximately 565 of those counted on March 15, 2018 became homeless AFTER their 1st brain injury. The mental health issues and addiction struggles are directly linked to brain injury.
  • Victoria has two prisons – John Simpson’s study revealed that 80% of those incarcerated have suffered a brain injury and 60% of those identified sustained their FIRST brain injury as a child and often at the hand of abuse. Upon release into our community, and when appropriate during incarceration, these individuals require brain injury rehabilitation, mental health and addiction services, housing, and employment training for a successful integration into our community.
  • Victoria has an opioid crisis. Our police force is dealing with overdoses and deaths on our streets. Studies indicate that a person with a brain injury has a 400% risk of increased mental health issues and a 200% risk of addiction issue. The police are frontline workers are dealing daily with these individuals with little or no training in brain injury, mental health or addiction issues.

These critical issues are consuming millions of dollars to attempt to manage the problem. We are doing little, if anything, other than putting a band-aid on the solution. We need action by way of integrating services to ensure community supports are in place, and complex clients, such as those with a brain injury, receive interventions as early as possible and for the time they need them.

To date, brain injury has been tucked in with other organizations and funding requests or abandoned altogether. The problem is that brain injury is directly linked to these social problems and if not included in the conversation, a community, province, or country will never have a 100% solution.

Our communities, province’s and Canada are already spending millions to address the problem but not hitting the mark. We can pay now, or we can pay later and as we are seeing now, the cost later is a much greater impact than anticipated. The only way to do this differently is to come together and ensure that federal and provincial funding is in place to exclusively deal with brain injury. The benefit will be that the numbers of people on the street, in the prisons, and suffering from mental health and addiction issues will start to reduce. People will feel supported, have the opportunity to heal, and return to work or meaningful activity in their community. We can give people the quality of life they deserve.

We look forward to you being a part of the conversation and joining us on June 5, 2019.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at [YOUR PHONE NUMBER] or by email at [YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS].

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR TITLE]

Provincial
[DATE]

Dear [YOUR PREMIER or MLA]:

RE: National Day of Collaboration for Brain Injury Services & Supports

We invite you to participate in our National Day of Collaboration for Brain Injury Services & Supports on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 [INSERT YOUR EVENT OR WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO]. The National Day of Collaboration will take place coast-to-coast across Canada to advocate for improved the quality of life for brain injury survivors by providing integrated services (brain injury rehabilitation, mental health and addiction) which an individual can access when needed, in the way needed, where they are needed, and for however long they are needed.

In British Columbia, there are over 160,000 individuals living with the outcome of a brain injury. Sadly, a minimum of 22,000 new brain injuries (60 per day/ 3 per hour) will be added to the number of people requiring services and supports. Here are some important stats in understanding the magnitude of the problem in our province:

  • Homelessness: In December 2018, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty reduction released data stating that in 24 separate counts done in 2017 and 2018 over 7,500 British Columbians were homeless. According to the Toronto study, 53% of the homeless (3,975 in BC) have a traumatic brain injury (Hwang, 2008) and that 70% of the 53% became homeless AFTER suffering their FIRST brain injury. The mental health issues and addiction struggles of the homeless are directly linked to brain injury. Studies show that brain injury survivors on the streets are more likely to be arrested, become victims of physical violence and be seen in emergency rooms.
  • Correctional Facilities – British Columbia has 10 correctional facilities, housing approximately 2,600 individuals. John Simpson’s study revealed that 80% of those incarcerated (2,080 of those incarcerated in BC) have suffered a brain injury and 60% of those identified sustained their FIRST brain injury as a child and often at the hand of abuse. Upon release into our communities, and when appropriate during incarceration, these individuals require brain injury rehabilitation, mental health and addiction services, housing, and employment training for a successful integration into our community.
  • Opioid crisis. The number of illicit drug overdose deaths in BC in 2018 was 31 deaths per 100,000. Although safe injection sites and naloxone kits are valuable in addressing the situation, they are band-aids for the problem. It is known that a person with a brain injury has a 400% risk of increased mental health issues and a 200% risk of addiction issue. The police are frontline workers are dealing with these individuals daily, with little or no training in brain injury, mental health or addiction issues. A person with a brain injury, mental health and addiction issues is considered complex and often, denied access to services. This is perpetuating the problem!

We need action by way of integrating services to ensure community supports are in place, and complex clients, such as those with a brain injury, receive interventions as early as possible and for the time they need them.

To date, brain injury has been tucked in with other organizations and funding requests or abandoned altogether. The problem is that brain injury is directly linked to these social problems and if not included in the conversation, a community, province, or country will never have a 100% solution.

Our communities, province’s and Canada are already spending millions to address the problem but not hitting the mark. We can pay now, or we can pay later and as we are seeing now, the cost later is a much greater impact than anticipated. The only way to do this differently is to come together and ensure that federal and provincial funding is in place to exclusively deal with brain injury. The benefit will be that the numbers of people on the street, in the prisons, and suffering from mental health and addiction issues will start to reduce. People will feel supported, have the opportunity to heal, and return to work or meaningful activity in their community. We can give people the quality of life they deserve.

We look forward to you being a part of the conversation and joining us on June 5, 2019.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at [YOUR PHONE NUMBER] or by email at [YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS].

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR TITLE]

Federal
[DATE]

Dear Prime Minster Trudeau [OR YOUR MP]:

RE: National Day of Collaboration for Brain Injury Services & Supports

We invite you to participate in our National Day of Collaboration for Brain Injury Services & Supports on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 in Ottawa (location to be announced). The National Day of Collaboration will take place coast-to-coast across Canada to advocate for improving the quality of life for brain injury survivors by providing integrated services (brain injury rehabilitation, mental health and addiction) which an individual can access when needed, in the way needed, where they are needed, and for however long they are needed.

In Canada, there are 1.5 million Canadians living with the outcome of a brain injury. Sadly, a minimum of 166,455 new brain injuries (456 per day/ 1 every 3 minutes) will be added to the number of people requiring services and supports. Here are some important stats in understanding the magnitude of the problem in our country:

  • Homelessness: In 2013, CBC reported that approximately 30,000 Canadians were homeless on any given night and that 200,000 are homeless per year. According to the Toronto study, 53% of the homeless have a traumatic brain injury (Hwang, 2008) and that 70% of the 53% became homeless AFTER suffering their FIRST brain injury. The mental health issues and addiction struggles of those the homeless are directly linked to brain injury.
  • Correctional Facilities – Canada has 53 correctional facilities, housing approximately 40,147 individuals. John Simpson’s study revealed that 80% of those incarcerated (over 32,000 of those incarcerated in Canada) have suffered a brain injury and 60% of those identified sustained their FIRST brain injury as a child and often at the hand of abuse. Upon release into our communities, and when appropriate during incarceration, these individuals require brain injury rehabilitation, mental health and addiction services, housing, and employment training for a successful integration into our community.
  • Opioid crisis – In Canada, there are 11 fatal overdoses every day! That is over 8,000 senseless deaths since 2016. Although safe injection sites and naloxone kits are valuable in addressing the situation, they are band-aids for the problem. It is known that a person with a brain injury has a 400% risk of increased mental health issues and a 200% risk of addiction issue. The police are frontline workers are dealing with these individuals daily, with little or no training in brain injury, mental health or addiction issues. A person with a brain injury, mental health and addiction issues is considered complex and often, denied access to services. This is perpetuating the problem!
  • Intimate Partner Violence – The emerging stats on brain injury resulting from Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) are staggering. For every NHL player who has suffered a concussion, 7,000 women have sustained the same injury through IPV. (Karen Mason, Dr. Paul van Donkelaar).

 We need action by way of integrating services to ensure community supports are in place, and complex clients, such as those with a brain injury, receive interventions as early as possible and for the time they need them.

To date, brain injury has been tucked in with other organizations and funding requests or abandoned altogether. The problem is that brain injury is directly linked to these social problems and if not included in the conversation, a community, province, or country will never have a 100% solution.

Our communities, province’s and Canada are already spending millions to address the problem but not hitting the mark. We can pay now, or we can pay later and as we are seeing now, the cost later is a much greater impact than anticipated. The only way to do this differently is to come together and ensure that federal and provincial funding is in place to exclusively deal with brain injury. The benefit will be that the numbers of people on the street, in the prisons, and suffering from mental health and addiction issues will start to reduce. People will feel supported, have the opportunity to heal, and return to work or meaningful activity in their community. We can give people the quality of life they deserve.

We look forward to you being a part of the conversation and joining us on June 5, 2019.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at [YOUR PHONE NUMBER] or by email at [YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS].

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR TITLE]

Download the letters as a Microsoft Word documents:

USEFUL LINKS

(click to see the links)

Territories
Yukon

http://www.yukonpremier.ca/premiersteam.html

Northwest Territories

https://www.assembly.gov.nt.ca/meet-members/premier-and-ministers

Nunavut

https://www.gov.nu.ca/cabinet

Federal
https://www.ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/ministries

Articles

https://www.cfms.org/files/meetings/sgm-2018/resolutions/CFMS-position-paper-responding-to-opiates-crisis.pdf

https://portage.ca/en/blog/overdose-crisis-in-canada/

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/opinion-jino-distasio-homelessness-housing-first-1.4341552

https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/doctors-paramedics-report-brain-damage-in-fentanyl-overdose-survivors-1.5909198

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/30-000-canadians-are-homeless-every-night-1.1413016

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Fact Sheets

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-use/problematic-prescription-drug-use/opioids/get-the-facts.html

http://johnhoward.ca/blog/financial-facts-canadian-prisons/

Reports

https://cmha.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Summary-Report.pdf

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/corporate/transparency/health-agreements/principles-shared-health-priorities.html

https://cridge.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/THE-MIND-OF-HOMELESSNESS-Position-Paper-June-2016-update.pdf

https://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-the-real-problem-behind-substance-abuse-1.22079417

http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/97003_01

https://www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2002/MHA_Brain_Injury_Guidelines.pdf

https://www.leg.bc.ca/content/Hansard/36th2nd/19970507pm-Hansard-v4n18.htm

http://nbia.ca/pdfs/nbiaproposal.pdf

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/birth-adoption-death-marriage-and-divorce/deaths/coroners-service/statistical/illicit-drug.pdf

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/birth-adoption-death-marriage-and-divorce/deaths/coroners-service/statistical/suicide.pdf

Who Will You Be Tweeting For?

We want the month to go out with a ‘thunder-clap’ of noise about brain injury.

On June 5, 2019, (National Day of Collaboration) coast to coast, at 12 Pm (PST) and 3 pm (EST) we will be tweeting for those we know and love who are living with the outcome of a brain injury or who are supporting someone with a brain injury.

Put it on your calendar to send out at least 10 (ten) tweets to create awareness on the societal impact of brain injury and to advocate for increased services and supports Canada-wide. We encourage you to get these tweets out within one hour and to continue to tweet throughout the day and evening.

Brain Injury Awareness Hashtags
#HeadsTogether2019

#BrainInjury

#Hope

#Survivor

#HopeGenerator

#IPV

#EndViolence

#MentalHealth

#Addictions

#Support

Here are 20 suggested tweets:
Feel free to use these tweets and/or to customize them to you or someone you know. Please commit to one day of bringing awareness across the country on this important and life-changing topic.

 

  1. #BrainInjury is often the cause of mental health issues, addictions, homelessness & incarceration. #Survivor #Hope #HopeGenerator
  2. Brain injury impacts the entire family. Individual and family supports are necessary. #BrainInjury #Survivor #Hope #HopeGenerator
  3. Brain injury is a crisis in Canada. 53% of the homeless have suffered a brain injury. #BrainInjury #Survivor #Hope #HopeGenerator
  4. 53% of the homeless have a brain injury. Over 70% became homeless after their 1st brain injury. #BrainInjury #Survivor #Hope #HopeGenerator
  5. 80% of prisoners have a brain injury. 60% of these injuries occurred when they were a child. #BrainInjury #Survivor #Hope #HopeGenerator
  6. 20% of people without substance use problems before injury become at risk after their injury. #MentalHealth #Addictions #BrainInjury
  7. Brain injury, mental health issues and substance abuse often coexist. Provide support for all three. #MentalHealth #Addictions #BrainInjury
  8. Housing, employment opportunities, and community connections assist in brain injury rehabilitation. #BrainInjury #Support #Jobs #Connections
  9. Life is not over after brain injury. It’s different. The person and their family need help to rebuild. #BrainInjury #Family #Support
  10. Brain injury prevention is key. Ongoing support after a brain injury is equally important. #BrainInjury #Survivor #Hope #HopeGenerator
  11. Over 1,000,000 Canadians live with a brain injury. Don’t leave them behind. Provide supports. #BrainInjury #Survivor #Hope #HopeGenerator
  12. Brain injury is the #1 killer and disabler of Canadians under the age of 45. #BrainInjury #Survivor #Hope #HopeGenerator
  13. 456 Canadians suffered a brain injury today. They deserve access to ongoing support if needed. #BrainInjury #Survivor #Hope #HopeGenerator
  14. Every 3 minutes a Canadian suffers a brain injury. They will be added to the 160,000 this year. #BrainInjury #Survivor #Hope #HopeGenerator
  15. Brain Injury is the orphan nobody wants. It’s not a standalone issue. #BrainInjury often coexists with #MentalHealth and #Addictions. #Hope
  16. #BrainInjury, #MentalHealth issues and #Addictions are not political problems. They are common life problems. Provide support for all three.
  17. Abused women suffering a TBI from intimate partner violence is estimated at 60% to 92%. #BrainInjury #IPV #EndViolence #Hope
  18. People relying on emergency services w/o access to support or housing risk a decline in well-being. #BrainInjury #Support #Housing
  19. Who has NOT been impacted personally or supported a loved one with a #BrainInjury, #MentalHealth issue, or #Addiction? Impossible.
  20. Prevention and awareness are needed. Support after a brain injury is also needed. It’s not one or the other. #BrainInjury #Family #Support